JISC TechDis approach to e-learning

Introduction

"JISC TechDis takes a holistic approach to the creation of e-learning materials. It believes that it is inappropriate to solely apply a series of web accessibility guidelines (e.g. W3C WAI WCAG) to e-learning material without taking other factors into consideration; they should not be regarded as the only set of criteria which developers of teaching and learning materials need to consider. There are additional factors which need to be addressed, some of which may conflict with the W3C WAI Guidelines. Additionally, although the guidelines are a useful starting point, following them does not necessarily ensure that a resource is accessible to its target audience. Within e-learning development, there is a need to place the learner at the centre of the development process.

This approach recognises that an accessible resource for one learner may be an inaccessible resource for another and, therefore, 'inaccessible' e-learning resources may be deployed, provided that disabled learners are still able to demonstrate the required learning outcomes in a way which does not disadvantage them or their non-disabled peers. It also recognises the importance of user-testing, as the best way to ensure that a resource achieves its objectives and is accessible as possible is to trial it with a number of students.

Guiding principals of the JISC TechDis approach to e-learning:

Think about:

  1. Users who have difficulty seeing things
  2. Users who have difficulty hearing things
  3. Users who have difficulties understanding things
  4. Users who have difficulty concentrating
  5. Users who have difficulties handling and manipulating things
  6. Users who have difficulties communicating with others
  7. Users who have difficulty accessing text
  8. Users who are dyslexic"

Taken from Accessibility in learning QIA